New flat gas tax in Georgia starts Wednesday - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

New flat gas tax in Georgia starts Wednesday

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Starting Wednesday, Georgia drivers will be spending more at the pump as the state implements a new flat tax. The new 26 cent tax will help fund road projects throughout the state.

Right now the state of Georgia taxes fuel at a rate of 19 cents per gallon. That is in addition to the federal tax.

Starting Wednesday, drivers will pay seven cents more a gallon but the tax will no longer fluctuate as it has in the past. 

"It's gas. You've got to have it. It's always definitely something you've got to pay for," says driver Jessica Webb.

Many Georgia drivers Channel 3 spoke with say they are not opposed to a gas tax increase if it will help improve roads.

"You've got the Ringgold exit and the Ringgold/LaFayette exit, in between that there's a bunch of bumps on the road. It is terrible. I hate driving that road," says Webb.

Starting July 1st, drivers in Georgia will pay a flat tax of 26 cents per gallon. The state wants to raise close to a $1 billion for road improvement.

 "We drive to Dalton everyday. Me and my wife carpool," says Kenyon Henry.

For drivers like Henry, who commutes from Fort Oglethorpe every day, even a slight increase affects the budget.

"Gas prices are obviously a big factor what we do budget wise. I'm signing on a house later today and looking at gas prices was definitely part of the budget," he says.

With current prices, the new flat tax will equate to about seven cents more a gallon. For an empty 14 gallon tank, that equates to about another dollar to fill up.

"Even though the gas tax officially increases Wednesday, you likely won't see an immediate jump in pump prices, because gas stations usually phase-in the price increase over a short period of time rather than all at once," says Garrett Townsend, Director of Public Affairs for AAA Georgia.

"I have three children. I'm on the road constantly," says Emilie O'Leary.

Drivers like Emilie O'Leary say as long as prices hover where they are now she is fine with the increase. Plus, she says more and more retailers are offering discounts on gas.

"The good thing, there's a lot of rewards now. Like we were just talking about coming here, whether we should come to BP or Shell. And I go to Kroger to shop. So I get the 10 cents, at least, off of Shell," says O'Leary.

As the new gas tax starts, the state's popular electric car "tax credit" will end.

Buyers can no longer take advantage of a $5,000 rebate when buying an electric car. Electric car owners will also have to pay an annual $200 fee for personal vehicles.

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